Grant Levy writes a new chapter at ANZPT Perth
When we started out this afternoon we got a feeling that there was a great story unfolding, with only the final chapters left to be written. Five locals, a few young guns, an Irishman and a PokerStars qualifier by the name of Grant Levy.
The man known as "Grunter" entered our final table as chip leader, and even though he has been there and done that, Levy definitely had a point to prove and the unwavering desire of a champion.
It's no secret that Levy has experienced a rough trot on the ANZPT circuit. Zero cashes from his previous 12 starts is not a record of someone of his calibre, but such is the nature of tournament poker. It can send you to the lowest lows, before lifting you higher than ever before in an instant.
Levy wasn't just here for the money, (although $131,500 certainly helps), but he was here for the title. The trophy and the honour of being crowned champion once again. It's been a long three and a half years since Levy first rose to fame at the APPT Sydney Grand Final in 2007. I remember it well, as that was my first gig as a tournament reporter, and I'm proud to have seen Levy do it all over again for a second time.
He didn't have it easy though, with an epic heads-up duel with the gallant John Corr, capping off a final table that was as aggressive as we have seen in recent times. From the get-go there were three and four-bets preflop, there were check-raises, there were second and third barrels, and there was some intense psychological warfare. It was great! ANZPT Commissioner Danny McDonagh is a strong advocate for winding back the clock on ANZPT final tables to give a minimum 40 big blind average stack. We saw the positives of that rule today, as it provded the freedom for some talented players to showcase their full range of skills.
Early on it was Aaron Lim who burst out of the gates with an aggressive three-bet and a fortunate river to eliminate local cult hero Ted Nguyen. Lim and Levy then went on to tangle on multiple occasions in an enthralling battle.
Peter Parsons also looked threatening but his stand was cut short in 7th place when he lost a race against Tim Marsters. Parsons held pocket eights but Marsters caught a king holding king-jack to take it down. Marsters then kicked up the aggression with a preflop five-bet against Huu Lan and stormed into the chip lead.
Luu was a little rattled but it got worse for the ex-Burswood croupier when he got his last chips in preflop with pocket tens against the A♥7♥ of Grant Levy. The K♥4♥2♥ flop was all she wrote as Levy flopped the joint and eliminated Luu in 6th place.
Patrick Kearns was the last International at the final table, and he'd battled valiantly with a short stack for the best part of two days, but he was next to go in 5th place as his K♠Q♠ failed to improve against John Corr's A♠J♠.
The aggression only escalated as play reduced to short-handed, with Tim Marsters and Aaron Lim starting to turn up the heat. It worked for Marsters but backfired for Lim. His triple barrel against Grant Levy failed when Levy snap-called the river with two pair, before he three-bet shoved preflop with A♥6♣ and ran smack bang into Levy's A♣A♠ to be eliminated in 4th place. Lim was super impressive all tournament and we're sure to see more of him on the ANZPT in future.
At the other end of the table, John Corr and Tim Marsters continued their rivalry until a cooler of a hand sent us to heads-up play. Corr raised the button with pocket kings and Marsters three-bet from the small blind with A♣Q♣. Corr moved all in and Marsters made the call, only to discover the bad news. The board ran out without an ace as Marsters had to be content with third place.
It was a tick over 5:30pm and we were into heads-up play with John Corr holding a narrow chip lead over the experienced Grant Levy. The players were relatively deep-stacked, but we weren't expecting such an epic heads-up duel as the two went hammer and tongs for nearly three and a half hours.
Grant Levy gained the ascendency early, and appeared to be coasting to victory but the local had other ideas as John Corr regained some momentum and fought to stay in the contest. As Corr's stack got into the danger zone, he was able to double up twice to stay alive - the second coming courtesy of a remarkable two-outer on the turn.
The stacks were roughly two-to-one when a preflop raising war saw John Corr go with A♠K♣ against Grant Levy's J♠J♣. It was a huge pot with the possibility of Levy losing the chip advantage for the first time in three hours. However luck finally went his way as the board ran out 7♣7♦Q♣3♦T♦ to leave Corr to collect second-place prize money and crown Levy as our champion.
Interestingly it was an instant replay of the very same final hand last year when Tony Hachem's pocket jacks defeated Aleks Lackovic's ace-king.
With his victory Levy becomes just the second person in history, along with Brotha D, to win both ANZPT and APPT titles. He just now needs an Aussie Millions title to be the first to complete the Asia-Pacific triple crown.
Final Table Results:
1st Grant Levy (Australia) - PokerStars Qualifier - $131,500
2nd John Corr (Australia) - $83,500
3rd Tim Marsters (Australia) - PokerStars Qualifier - $47,000
4th Aaron Lim (Australia) - $38,000
5th Patrick Kearns (Ireland) - $31,600
6th Han Luu (Australia) - $26,600
7th Peter Parsons (Australia) - $21,500
8th Ted Nguyen (Australia) - $16,450
Many thanks to Deb Wyatt and her staff in the Burswood Poker Room for their wonderful hospitality and dedicated efforts this week. We really enjoyed our time here in Perth this week, and the group of staff and players in the West are some of the nicest people you will meet.
Also a big thanks to Trish and Giuseppe from SHOT Productions for their stunning photography on the final table. For the full gallery of pics please join the ANZPT Facebook group.
That's all she wrote from the ANZPT Perth Main Event. From here we'll be heading to Macau for the upcoming Macau Millions, while the next event on the local tour will be the ANZPT Sydney Main Event which kicks off April 13th at StarCity Casino. We hope to see you there!